Okay, I’m done telling you when this was originally published. I’ll tell you when I’m “up to date.”
Remember my very first post about purging my closet?
Wait, before I continue, if you are a rebel like me and didn’t start from the beginning like I told you to on my home page, then you best click here and catch up. This post kicks off Skeletons Part 2: What the F*&$ (Has) Happened. Oh, sorry, some of you may not have been to the Home page before. My bad. Know what, no, read this post and then decide if you want to start from the very beginning.
Anyway, remember how I was all proud of myself for the progress that I had made in there and my shoes – those damaged, used, discarded, shoes? And how I still had some things to sort and sift through? Wellllllllllll…
It didn’t last. Along came the holidays and with that came presents. Lots and lots of presents. I barely had any floor space and had to move things around to access my “shtuff.” It was really annoying but I told myself that once Christmas was over, I can resume the “transformation” if you will.
My closet was slowly returning to the chaotic disaster that it once was and next thing I know I’m promising myself “you’re doing it this weekend” or “you’re doing it on your days off while A2 naps” blah blah blah blah, never following through. Because it hadn’t gotten THAT bad yet. It wasn’t like it was before so I didn’t have a sense of urgency to do something about it.
See, I’m one of THOSE people. The one who will wait until an illness or pain is bad enough to go see her doctor. The one who will not wash her car until it is beyond filthy before getting it washed or who (sometimes) waits until her car is basically running on fumes, barely making it to the gas station to fill up. I could go on but you get the gist. I procrastinate on pretty much EV-ER-Y-THING. Things have to be bad enough or the pressure has to be ON to light a fire under my stubborn, lazy ass.
My closet cleaning sabbatical was short-lived though. After things settled down, I went back to work on the transformation. I must say, I am quite pleased with my progress. And no, this isn’t what it looks like now. I haven’t gotten there yet.
Get it? We’re talking about what happened, not what it looks like now. Don’t get it? It’s okay. Click here and then you will.
So that, my friends, is also the story of my life when it comes to WTF happened that sent me on this long AF path to recovery in the past and what’s been happening along the way.
Rekindled: Friends walk in and out of our lives but the good ones always find their way back or never leave to begin with.
**Disclaimer: This is the last post of “What the Hell it Was Like” and it is long AF. The topics include nicknames and roommates (and it has a lot of asterisks!)
Excluding my husband, I have had a total of 7 roommates in adulthood. All of these roommates have experienced me at various stages of my drinking career and it’s safe to say that I still owe some of them amends. Of these 7, 3 are still in my life today. 1 is my sister and the other 2 are friends for 20+ years – I love them so much they might as well be family.
I’ve gone by numerous nicknames given by these 3 individuals. Most fizzled out and others I answer to to this day. In fact, one of the names with my sister (R2) that we both STILL answer to stemmed from a non-word an ex-boyfriend would add to the end of people’s names. 15’ish years later and we still call each other this 3 letter non-word-nickname.
My very first roommate, R1, was one of my BFFs from high school. You know WTF you are. We were connected at the hip. We did everything together – wore each other’s clothes, spent the night at each other’s houses, made embarrassing music videos, shared a couple hook-ups, went to the same college, shared a dorm and of course, discovered our fondness for alcohol together. Our high school shenanigans and silly nicknames long gone, we were embracing this new freedom of living on our own; and with that came a lot of fun for us novice party girls. Remember, we graduated from a relatively strict school – a school that parents would send their kids to if they were up to no good at their public school.* So going from our conservative backgrounds to a very large public university in another state was like an episode out of Season 1 of “Breaking Amish.”**
Sophomore year we shared an apartment with 2 other girls we met through a mutual friend. At this point, I was now in an exclusive relationship with my first long term boyfriend – the previously mentioned “loser of all losers” – and my grades were suffering. I was infatuated to the point where I just wanted to be back home closer to him. Selfishly, I ended up subleasing my room out to a total stranger and moved home. That’s when our friendship changed. While I try not to wish to change or regret the past, I do have remorse for how that made R1 feel.
Post college life, we both went on different paths in different states. She settled down earlier in life with a career and family while I just partied and cruised with no plan or direction. There was never a definitive “end” to our friendship, per se. Things just never were the same and eventually I let it go. I always loved her, thought of her often and wished her well.
Years passed and once again, God knows exactly what and who I need in my life at the right time. His perfect timing, not mine. I heard from this friend about 6 months ago, at a time when I was experiencing “valleys” in life. One online communication led to another and next thing we knew, we’re chatting daily via the Marco Polo app. We had discovered that we each had something valuable to offer the other and our friendship rapidly rekindled. Both of our lives have changed drastically since God got us back together. We’re just scratching the surface and finding out what we are capable of as re-kindred-spirits. He works in mysterious ways, I tell you. Mysterious ways.
My sister, R2, was my roommate my entire childhood up until I left for college (obviously.) We didn’t live together again until about 5 years later. Considering what little information I have just provided you, all you need to know is this: girlfriend has seen some shit. Especially when I was living with R3, my brother by choice (BBC.)
I’d known R3 since 7th grade and we ended up being in the same social circle in high school. I hooked up with his friends and he hooked up with mine but we never were like that with each other. We’ve always had a brother and sister vibe going on. I’ll never forget back in 2005, another BBC and I met up with R3 and his best friend, the same guy I lost my virginity to on high school graduation night.***I can only recall snippets of that short visit to that downtown drinking establishment (I talk about those snippets in the above asterisk,) nor do I remember going to bed. I do remember the morning after though. R3’s mom woke us up and I was in his bed….WITH him…(GASP!)…fully clothed (PHEWF!)
Unlike many a’dirtbag I unfortunately wasted my time on, he was a perfect gentleman and did not take advantage of my vulnerable state while severely under the influence. Within a couple of months, at the suggestion of R3’s best friend (and my future husband,) I was moving in with him and another guy I did not know.****I had a boyfriend at the time so this living arrangement was purely platonic.
Sidenote: Yes, I had just cheated on said boyfriend (BF) with said future husband (FH.)*****
Yes, BF suspected said indiscretion and I totally lied; shamelessly convincing him I was telling the truth so that he’d stay with me. Never mind the fact that I did not love this dude AT ALL, nor see a future with him, I simply just couldn’t be alone and just HAD to have someone. (eye roll)
Remember, I said to expect brutal honesty and when it comes to men…I mean, guys…wait no, boys…the good, bad, mean and obscene…they are a huge part of my story. So huge that they will get their own page.******
Anyway, R3 and I discovered we both enjoyed the effects of alcohol so much that it became our favorite past time. We frequented dive bars, snuck into hotel pools, took a gazillion pictures for MySpace and “bit the hair of the dog” more times than I can count. My alter ego was born and R3 gave me the name Pixie. This period of my life stands out as one of my most alcoholic times and memories from that chapter are bittersweet. I was on the path of self-destruction AND falling in love with FH at the same exact time.
R3 gave this to A1 a couple Christmas’ ago…clearly I decided it belonged to me.
The longer I lived in this home by the bay, the worse my alcoholism got and I started to suffer consequences (again.) At the end, FH was now my boyfriend exclusively and we agreed R3 and I were bad influences on each other. Telling R3 that I was moving out was hard and I think he was pretty mad at me at the time. R3, you know WTF you are. I have more to say and you can read more by going to the Letters page.
When I decided to embark on this anonymous project, it only seemed appropriate to rekindle my former alter-ego and use Pixie as my “pen name.” It’s safe to say that I now have grown attached to it and even considered using it in “the rooms.” But then B1 talked me out of that one saying people might think I was a little crazy.
Which, I am. I accept that. But she’s right. Just because I embrace the crazy doesn’t mean I need to unleash the crazy. Being in recovery has helped me practice mindfulness and self-awareness to recognize when my thinking goes sideways. It also helps having people in my life who inspire me to see past the one thing that gets in my way of living happy, joyous & free and that one thing is this:
I wrote this post on December 10, 2018. I can’t tell you what led up to me stumbling across this post today but for what it’s worth, this is a MAJOR God shot and another confirmation that I am exactly where I need to be. There is nothing wrong with me and I’m okay. In fact, I’m better than okay.
I had some major deja vu yesterday morning.
I woke up at 4:30 AM…again…as I have been every day for the past I don’t know how many weeks, for a while now.
I’m not complaining though, I love it! It is my absolute favorite time of the day. There is a woman I’ve watched in AA for years now…well…not so much recently but I still read her thought provoking texts every single morning. She always shares how mornings are her favorite part of her day. Of all the things she has said that I had rolled my eyes at, that was never one of them. I have always loved mornings too…well…when I wasn’t hungover.
Or a mom to two girls.
Their cries, fights, screams, whines and incessant demands have helped me see the value in silence, which has made me love the mornings even more. The sound of silence, oh how I savor thee.
So it’s 4:30 and I’m awake. I settle in to do my morning “spiritual fitness” routine which goes a little something like this:
As I sat in reflection, I turned to H and mentioned just how much I loved getting up so early and then hit the deja vu: that exact moment felt strangely familiar and yet different at the same time. Wasn’t it about a year ago that I was doing the same exact thing?
I had to go look at my IG feed and by golly, it was! 1 year and 4 days ago to be exact, I was getting up around 4:30-5 every morning, on my own, no alarm clock and spending time with God with a fire blazing in the fireplace. I didn’t understand why then but I sure AF do now.
1 year ago, I was begging God to take over because, while I was still without a sip of alcohol in, at the time, almost 6 years, I was miserable on so many levels.
I prayed for a miracle.
I remember feeling the presence of God with me one morning as I was praying in the fetal position, face down in my hands on the carpet. I had this vision of him wrapping his arms around me and say “it’s going to be okay, my child. You are going to be okay. Just keep doing everything you are doing. Don’t stop. You are going to be alright.”
It wasn’t long after that I wrote a blog post after a 5 week hiatus of NO writing. It was only my 5th post published on New Year’s Eve and I was in a lot of fear.
Since then, the entire year of 2018 has been nothing short of mini miracles, one after another. And this entire time, as I have grown in my faith and recovery, I still will hear in my head, “it’s all a lie. God does not exist. How can there really be a God who can do such miraculous things?”
It’s still hard for me to wrap my head around, it really is, but my faith is strong enough today to realize where that voice is coming from and what I have to do to make it go away: rebuke, read and reflect.
You guys, the last paragraph of my devotional started with the following sentence:
“So don’t let any evil enemy whisper lies into your ears.”
THEN the accompanying Bible reference was a story in 2 Kings and once again, God revealed himself to me like he always does; reassuring me that indeed He’s STILL here with me, He IS real and He IS at work in my life in miraculous ways.
And theeeennnnn the daily reflections (DR), OH. MY. GOSH. Look. Just look.
If you only knew what the year 2018, 2019 and 2020 has looked like for me, your mind would be blown just as much as mine is by this DR. It’s really quite amazing and hard to put into words but I’m going to try as this blog unfolds.
I have so much I want to share and I know it’s been a while. Let me reassure YOU that I’m still here and I still haven’t picked up a drink.
I want to also reassure you..well..no, I guess this will be the first time I’m saying it: I really don’t care to talk about my marijuana usage any longer…for now anyway. Is it still part of my life? Yes. Does it rule my life or my recovery for that matter? No. Will I mention it again? Probably. Why? Because it’s still a PART of the story. That’s why.
I’m still in the “what happened” portion of my story and I’m not done yet; there is still more to share. Before I get into “what it’s like now,” I invite you to visit Skeletons Part 2.12 for a little review. Seriously…please go read it after you finish this post.
Then I may or may not go into more details about the list of 12 things that happened in 2018 before I jump into 2019 and tell you more cool “shtuff” that happened when I accepted my alcoholism, surrendered my will over to the care of God as I understand Him and got honest in the rooms of AA.
Who knows, maybe my story will help you in your recovery too.
That IS how it works, after all.
P.S. The 5th post I mentioned above is also worth a read because I talk about our Elf, Gidget, and how we do “Elf on the Shelf” in OUR house. You can find it by visiting the My Story page, titled Disclaimer. This is year number 3 and we are having so much fun with it; so much so that I decided to give Gidget her own page to showcase the shenanigans she’s gotten into and the notes she and A1 have been leaving for each other.
I started this post about a year ago and the time has come to finish it.
I think I have a legit anger problem. At 7+ years sober, I only just recently figured this out about myself a couple weeks ago.
H had pissed me off about something that, of course, I can’t remember now. I was (and still am) trying to quit smoking cigarettes. So naturally, my go to when I am mad at him is to rebel. I went, bought a pack, took them home and puffed 2 down in a matter of 10 minutes (or less!)
I felt guilty after and it hit me right then and there: wow, anger is a major trigger for me.
Just like I did when I drank. I drank AT people, places and things.
I have now been sober from alcohol for 8.5 years. Exactly 102.06 months, 3,106 days and 74,549 hours.
And guess what?!? 15 days ago, I hit 2 years clean from Adderall.
Both of those are miracles but I’ve got even a better one that I cannot wait to tell you about.
Up until 4 months ago, I was still struggling with my anger management. While I was no longer experiencing episodes of rage, I was still allowing my emotions to get the best of me; leaving me filled with tremendous guilt, shame, and remorse.
Earlier this year, we had house guests for the whole month of February. Towards the end of their stay, I was ready for things to “go back to normal” and wasn’t coping very well. My husband had been following the virus infiltrating our country and preparing our home for the impending lockdowns; and like many Americans in the early days, I didn’t truly understand the severity of what we were facing and that ” going back to normal” was never going to happen.
One week left in February and my car was towed from outside my house. I was enraged. The next morning, upon arriving at the tow lot, I saw that the gate was open. So instead of going into the office to pay for the release of my car, I decided I would just walk on the lot and take it.
Adrenaline had taken over and aint’ nobody was going to stop me. I was immediately approached by a man who told me I wasn’t allowed in there and I walked right past him and told him I was just getting my wallet – which – was a lie. I was literally going to steal my own car.
Long story short, I shared some choice words with the manager and then immediately fell apart into a puddle of tears. And guess what? My car wasn’t there. It was at their other lot. When we got to the other lot, I was met with what looked like an intercom. I could hear the woman inside dealing with another customer as I pushed the button.
I push it again.
My husband suggests that maybe the other lot had called and warned them that I was coming, which incensed me even more. So I started pushing the button non stop. The woman finally responds out the door “I’m with a customer, I’ll be with you soon” and how did I respond?
Me: “THAT’S ALL YOU HAD TO F&%$ING SAY!”
Her: “Don’t you talk to me like that! Just for that, you’re gonna sit out there longer!”
I was already crying and now I’m sitting on the curb, in the fetal position, balling, as my family watched from the car. “Longer” was just a couple minutes and then I was let in. I apologized for cussing at her and she nearly cut me off and said “do not use that language again” or something to that effect, to which I replied “I just apologized.”
I went on to explain that the reason I was so upset was because the last time I had my car towed was because I had been arrested for my second DUI and now 9 years later, it’s being towed from outside my house because of my service to another; never mind that I was breaking rules I never took the time to learn. The woman seemed cold – she couldn’t care less. I wanted her to join my pity party and she was declining my invite.
When we went to retrieve my wallet, I apologized again and she acknowledged that the button I pushed over and over looks like an intercom, so she understood why I felt like I was being ignored.
But I still couldn’t really get myself together. I was on the verge of tears the entire time. When departing in the lot, I don’t remember what I said to her as I let the tears start rolling down my face again. But I do remember what she said,
“It’s going to be okay. Just pray.”
My heart burst open. I said “I love Jesus and I do pray.”